Prior to becoming a Middle School STEAM and science teacher, Sean Legnini ’07 was not only a student, but also an athlete, a musician, and a scientist at Shipley. Nearly a decade following his high school graduation, the well-rounded education he received would serve as the driving force behind his return to campus.
“Shipley let me be the many different things that I wanted to be,” recalls Legnini, who played hockey, sang in the choir, and participated in after-school science activities. “Being able to really explore all of the things that I wanted to explore led me to how I feel now, as though I’m the epitome of ‘jack of all trades, master of none’—and I think that’s kind of cool.”
Legnini would continue his pursuit of a multiplicity of interests in both college and graduate school, leading to a bachelor’s degree in music and business from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in arts administration from Drexel University, and a second master’s degree in education from Cabrini University. In addition to working in all three fields, at a record label, a music-centered nonprofit organization, and Shipley, respectively, he launched a tech startup, with the aim of automating charitable giving through virtual goods in video games.
Legnini’s mother always said that her son would end up teaching, which is precisely why, he jokes, he originally intended to do something else with his life. Nevertheless, a passion for education runs in the family: Legnini’s paternal grandmother taught at The Baldwin School for 40 years, and his father taught at Villanova University for 10 years. “Teaching has been a part of my life for a long, long time,” he notes.
Despite Legnini’s multifaceted background, a fascination with science has remained a constant over the years.
“I’ve never not been interested in science. It was always my favorite class,” says Legnini, who currently coaches Shipley’s award-winning Middle School Science Olympiad team and teaches middle schoolers how to write code, wire circuits, build robots, and solve real-world engineering problems. “What’s nice about being well-rounded is that I feel like I don’t struggle to teach many different topics. I can pick up things really quickly and run with them.”